The last time I did Fitchburg was back in 2005, and man, was it a high-strung race. People cussing, shoving at the start lines, knocking each other around on course. Granted, today was a TT, but I’d have to say the overall scene was far more laid back. Lots of guys in the Cat 3 field just kinda sitting up, missing starts, no aero kits or nuthin’. I’d love to say that this was due to the more selective (if way stupider) course, but I don’t want to advance my own opinions on course design or anything.
I got to the hotel for reg about 40 minutes later than I’d planned, then rallied my Subaru to the start, only to have State Trooper Friendly tell me there’s no parking at the start line. No biggie, the last minute panic thing works well as a warm-up for me, and a megadose of caffeine never hurts. Drove to the civic center, checked in with the squad, had a bathroom visit and hammered off to the start.
I nailed the race clock syncro, rolling into the start house 40 seconds before my time, with an HR of 151. My 30 second man was absent, which gave me nothing to chase. And the holder held me crooked. But what can you do, right? Eventually 13:02:00 rolled around and I was off. Settling in was hard. My evil HRM was spitting out ludicrous figures (239, 240) so I had to go by feel. Aerobically I felt good, almost too easy, but the legs, even at 85 rpm, just couldn’t get on top of the gears I wanted to turn.
After my recon, I thought this might be an aerobar-free course, but last night I put them on, figuring better to have them than not. I think it was a good call, with a solid headwind for much of the climb. By about ten minutes in, I was getting a good lock on my minute man, and just pulled him back steady, passing him on top of the hill despite an inopportune chain throw. Only the steepest or longest bits forced me out of the aero position, but I still just couldn’t put power I wanted into the pedals sitting down.
I tucked into the aerobars and 53/14 on the descent. I was going probably 90-100 rpms with it, but still – the power just wasn’t there. Dodging the bumps was easy, but even with 1k, 500 and 200m to go signs, I really couldn’t push it red. I suppose any chance I had of doing well today disappeared with my bike under the front wheels of a black SUV last Monday, but it would have been nice to at least have the sensation of leaving it all out on the course. C’est la vie.
Finally got back to the hotel to check results later in the afternoon. 19:47, bad enough for 64th place, about 2:30 back from the
worst sandbagger best finisher. No one else on INTERNATIONAL BICYCLE CENTERS fared particularly well, either, with C.Greg in 33rd with 19:09 and Paul and Mike a few ticks behind me. But it’s really only incentive to be that much more active over the coming three days.
thoughts on “2007 Fitchburg-Longsjo Race Report – Stage 1 TT”
If you win a race like Fitchburg on GC with a stage or two along the way does that pretty much punch your upgrade ticket? Does USCF have mandatory upgrading to (try to) prevent sandbagging?
For 3 to 2 upgrades, you need a minimum of 25 points in a 12 month period. Mandatory upgrades require 60. That’s a big gap.
I think winning a stage race is 20, but you can’t get more than 20 points from a single stage race, even if you win every stage.
I’ve been told that the “mandatory” upgrade for 60 pointers just means they can’t turn you down, i.e. you can still sandbag if you want to. Only the feds no for sure. It could be worse. Several years back when Fitchburg was just a crit, it paid $500 to win the Cat 3’s, and the “winner” was an imposter Cat 2 racing with his buddies license. Another out of stater recognized him dropped a dime, ending the ploy.
In defense of ‘sandbagger’, you probably have more upgrade pts. than he does – looks like he’s a good TTer though.
For the record, I have five upgrade points.
I wasn’t singling out the guy who won the TT specifically. Many of the riders toward the front of my field have lots and lots of upgrade points and just haven’t upgraded yet. Like the guy who won 3 of 4 points sprints today and came in 2nd in the one he didn’t win.
I doubt Roy even has the minimum points; if he does, he’s just over. he upgraded to the 3s last summer. Good luck at the RR today!
The IF guys were telling me Roy was scoring points in 3 races last year at this time. I could have been misinformed or misinterpreted, I suppose, but they were definitely quick to give him the SB label.
I’m pretty sure that Jon has no upgrade points. He raced Collegiate Men’s A all spring, so he was throwing down with 1’s and 2’s (many of whom are doing pretty damn well in the P/1 and 2 fields at the Lonsjo). However, they don’t give upgrade points for the 2’s in collegiate races.
We should petition the regional director who handles his license to upgrade him to a 2 even though he’ll only have 20 of the 25 requisite points after Fitchburg.
So call yourself 63rd and pat yourself on the back.
Just a clarification on collegiate up grades.
To upgrade from 2 to 1 only bean Pot, Easterâ€™s and nationals count. But almost any other A race would be considered. In most cases the USCF official for the region makes a judgment call, and uses the number of points as a starting point. Your style and hardcore attitude is the main factor for an up grade. Besides, look at the SBers in the 2 field.